Producer Diversification Honey Sector

Who is a Honey Bee Producer?

For the purposes of TAEP, an eligible Honey Bee producer must meet the minimum requirements of beekeeping experience and number of existing colonies as outlined below in Honey Bee Applicant Requirements.

Honey Bee Applicant Requirements


  • Minimum experience of five (5) years and current ownership of at least fifteen (15) colonies is required to participate. 
  • Minimum experience of five (5) years and current ownership of at least thirty (30) existing colonies is required to request cost share for construction of a TDA licensed and inspected Honey Processing Facility.
  • Applicants must report experience and number of hives in application proposal to be eligible.
    • If the applicant has assisted other beekeepers and mentors in working directly with bees, he or she may count this hands-on experience toward the requirements. The applicant must list the beekeeper’s name, contact information, and length of time spent assisting this beekeeper for this experience to be considered.
    • There is not a year requirement for ownership of hives but applicants must own required number of hives at time of application.

Consumer & Industry Services (Regulatory):

  • Apiaries must be registered with the State of Tennessee by the time of the application period (October 1 - 16, 2017). Contact TDA State Apiarist at 615-837-5342 for more information.
  • If you pack or sell more than (150) gallons of honey per year, you must be licensed and inspected by the State of Tennessee as a food manufacturing facility. Contact TDA Consumer & Industry Services at 615-837-5153 for more information.

Honey Bee Producer Cost Share Opportunities

Standard Producer – 35% Cost Share - $10,000 Maximum

All approved applicants with Honey Bee projects are eligible for 35% cost share. There are no special requirements for 35% cost share.

Master Producer – 50% Cost Share - $15,000 Maximum

To be eligible for 50% cost share, approved applicants must complete special requirements prior to the program reimbursement deadline of September 1, 2018. The name registered for the special requirement must be the same name as the individual applying for the cost share funding.

Special Requirements for 50% Cost Share

UT Master Beekeeper Program – certificate must be current at time of reimbursement. 

  • Recertification may be required if course was completed prior to 2014. 
  • Contact your local UT Extension Agent if you are unsure when your master certificate was issued.
  • Visit or call 865-974-0209

What Honey Bee Projects Qualify for TAEP?

The proposed activity must encompass quality expansion or improvement of pollination or honey production. The eligible categories are: Apiary expansion, honey processing equipment, pollination services and honey processing facility. Examples of eligible and ineligible items are provided on page 11.

Competitive Projects -- Honey Bee:

  • Priority is given to projects that focus on improving or increasing production of honey, bees or hive related products.
  • Priority is given to proposals with a well-developed marketing strategy.

Eligible Honey Bee Items:

  •  Not all eligible items are listed; please contact the Producer Diversification Coordinator for project eligibility or clarification prior to applying for TAEP cost share.
  • All eligible items requested may not be approved due to the competitive evaluation of the program.

Apiary Expansion:

Beekeeping supplies
  •     Queens: one per new hive – re-queening of existing hives is not eligible
  •     Package bees
  •     Nucleus colonies – honey bees & boxes
Hive or super equipment
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
Foundation wax
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
Hive accessories
  •    Telescoping covers, Western, or flat covers
  •     Bottom boards
  •     Division board feeders
  •     Entrance feeder
  •     Top feeders
  •     Queen excluders
  •     Entrance reducers
  •     Metal frame spacers
  •     Metal rabbets
  •     Eyelets
  •     Frame wire
  •     Pollen traps

Honey Processing Equipment

  • Band heaters
  • Bottling bucket kit
  • Capping scratchers
  • Containers – 5 or more gallons and usually stainless steel
  • Drum handling truck
  • Extractors – motorized recommended
  • Gates for honey storage
  • Honey bottling valve
  • Honey dispensing tanks
  • Honey filter
  • Honey refractometer
  • Immersion heaters
  • Strainers
  • Un-cappers
  • Uncapping knives
  • Wax melters

Pollination Services
All items and equipment listed in above sections are also eligible under the pollination services.
Trailers – size cannot be larger than needed for the number of colonies.    

Honey Processing Facility*
Building materials to construct a licensed facility.
Labor is only eligible for infrastructure projects. In order to be eligible for cost share reimbursement, labor must be quoted and performed by a contractor.

* Include dimensions and designs with project proposal.

Ineligible Honey Bee Items – Most commonly requested

  • Bee brush
  • Bee escapes
  • Bee go – product for moving bees out of supers
  • Bee hats
  • Beekeeping gloves
  • Bees for resale
  • Beetle boards
  • Brood builder
  • Comb cutters
  • Corn syrup
  • Coveralls
  • Diagnostic kits
  • Electric embedder
  • Equipment for resale
  • Frame/ form board
  • Frame cleaner
  • Frame grip(s)
  • Frame fixers
  • Frame holders
  • Frames for resale
  • Frame spacing tool
  • Fume boards
  • Grafting tools
  • Hive tools
  • Honey containers
  • Jars and caps
  • Labels
  • Mailing cages
  • Maxant hive tools
  • Medications
  • Packaging
  • Plastic queen cell cups
  • Observation hives
  • Queen cell protectors
  • Queen clipping scissors
  • Queen paint markers
  • Replacement of equipment/bees/existing items or structures
  • Ross rounds
  • Section scraping tools
  • Small hive beetle traps
  • Smokers
  • Smoker bellows
  • Smoker materials
  • Sting kill swabs
  • Sugar
  • Swarm traps
  • Sweat bands
  • Used equipment
  • Used materials
  • Veils
For additional information call 1-800-342-8206 or email
Application B Eligibility Requirements Application B Program Requirements Application B Materials